In solidarity with Ukraine

Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, SCJ, vicar general, wrote to the major superiors of the congregation, inviting them to assist the Polish Province in its ministry to Ukrainian refugees.

“The Lenten practice of almsgiving has a long and important history within our faith tradition,” wrote Fr. Steve. “This year, the war in Ukraine has created a great number of refugees. The world is horrified and asking how to reach out to those who suffer. The SCJ Polish Province is cooperating with other organizations to directly meet urgent humanitarian needs.”

Fr. Steve went on to share a message from Fr. Sławomir Knopik, SCJ, provincial superior of Poland. Fr. Sławomir writes that each day approximately 30,000 refugees, mainly women and children, come from Ukraine to Poland. Some SCJ houses have already taken in families, others are preparing to do so.

Fr. Steve concludes, noting that “while this terrible event has captured the world’s immediate attention, it is also a sad reminder of the many ongoing wars and refugee crises in other parts of our world. Perhaps your entity or apostolate is already responding to such critical needs. During Lent, may Dehonians strive to be greater prophets of love and servants of reconciliation as we pray and work for peace. Let us make our charism effectively live by responding to the urgent needs of the Church and of the world (Cst 1).”

The US Province has initially pledged $10,000 to assist the Polish Province during the refugee crisis. The Province Development Office will invite benefactors to join in support.

A video update was posted on Facebook this morning from Fr. Andrzej Olejnik SCJ, in Ukraine. Roughly translated into English, he says:

“Vivat Cor Jesu! I am in the parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. In the parish – and as you know – there is a serious war in Ukraine. We cannot live normally now, because instead of the alarm clock we hear explosions in the morning. Maybe you can hear them even now.

“What can we say? Please pray for us, for this war to end as soon as possible. Maybe peace will come to our country so that people will not suffer anymore. Right now we are experiencing a great tragedy in Ukraine.

“May this tragedy, this horror, end as soon as possible!”